Belle Grove Plantation

One of the things I am constantly flabbergasted by since moving to Virginia is the history a stones throw away. No matter where you are, there’s events or people or places that have captivated the cameras and minds of tourists and locals alike. I was lucky enough to experience a bridal event at the beautiful Belle Grove Plantation in King George. Did you know : That’s where President James Madison was BORN? Pretty cool stuff. Especially for me, because I love learning about this beautiful area I’ve moved to! There’s even more history about the property than I was originally aware of and learned about after I went home and read more on their website.

When I walked up to the house, I was in complete awe. I was greeted at the door and given a tour right away! I’m pretty sure I drooled a little bit at the beautiful rooms they keep. I adore historic buildings and I could have just moved in right then and there if they’d have had me! I mean, I can just see me walking the property with my delicate parasol and fan, or having a sweet tea on the upper balcony watching over the waterfront. MMMHMM. I used to be a historic interpreter back home so I definitely love to romanticize and live out those days in history. I was the Blacksmiths wife, and I was horrible at keeping the fire going. No joke, my faux husband wanted to divorce me because every time he left for lunch, he’d come back and the fire was out. However I did sneakily make spoons and tongs while he was gone.

I was set up in the gorgeous library where my booth was surrounded by books and trinkets and lovely furniture. I did not get around to meeting a lot of the vendors because I was at my booth, but before hand I snuck around snapping some photos! Links below are from the vendors I was able to check out before the day started. So whether you want a wedding hosted or a romantic weekend away in a southern gem – I highly suggest this location!

Belle Grove Plantation

That’s My Dress Bridal & Prom

Edible Weddings

Not Your Mother’s Cupcakes

Emily Elizabeth Music

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Fall Family Fun: UMW Fredericksburg

Okay, so I may very well have a penchant for shooting photo sessions at the University of Mary Washington Campus. I can’t help it, it’s ridiculously beautiful any given day of the year – but magical in the fall. It begs you to walk it’s historic grounds with some type of hot beverage from the Hyperion, craning your neck at the huge colonial style buildings while shuffling your feet through crisp, autumn leaves. I may have mentioned once or twice or a million times my ultimate jealousy of the students that are blessed to be taking classes on such a beautiful campus. Buh. Someone please sponsor me to go back to school just so I can be there everyday. ;)

I met my family of four on what was possibly the most perfect day of the season and I had such a great time shooting with them. I felt as if I was doing a catalog shoot with a model family! I love the way mom styled the session and picked out the perfect clothing for an afternoon in autumn. To get some choice conversational content with the young’uns at the beginning of the session, I asked the little boy who his favourite superhero was and he said “SPIDERMAN!”. Then I asked the girl who her favourite superhero was and she said, “DADDY!”. My heart melted! So sweet. I smiled the whole time editing this session remembering how much fun I had and how adorable this family was!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by your family and friends! Even though being Canadian I’ve been over Thanksgiving for a month now, I will still partake in the tradition of stuffing my face! Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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I’ll Give You Safe Passage To The Wasteland.

Oh, Drumheller.

You are my Neverland.

You are my memories and my happy thoughts. Your badlands span the corners of my imagination with dinosaurs and dusty adventures.

Growing up in Alberta is a magical experience, and it’s a pity the rest of the world does not get to experience it. It’s exciting explaining to people how in a few short hours you can go from badlands with its coulees and hoodoos, to prairies, to vibrant canola fields, to skyscrapers and city life, to enchanting rocky mountains and turquoise lakes!  It is exhausting and exhilarating trying to make people understand.  But oh, when you do – life will never be the same. I admit I took the proximity of all these things for granted when I lived there. I assumed I’d be there for the long run and my adventures would be planes, trains and automobiles elsewhere.

My favourite memories of Drumheller – the land of dinosaurs – were with my father and brother. Going on adventures to the Royal Tyrell Museum and hikes to see the Hoodoos, the abandoned Alberta mines and running up and down the layered sediment coulees. We even partook in a paleontological dig that was happening at the time. In truth, my brother is what set my obsession with dinosaurs up for advancement. Of course he loved dinosaurs, so being the younger sister I HAD to like exactly what he liked. That obsession never went away and eventually it grew into something that still, to this day, I get crazy excited about. My husband knew for Christmas that a Blu-ray box set of Jurassic Park was better than anything he could have gotten at Jared’s. (No offence Jared, but diamonds will never beat out a piece of copal containing a mosquito with paleo-DNA.) I was never a strong math student so unfortunately my dreams of becoming anything in the sciences field of paleontology were quickly diminished. Wah, wah.

Fear not! I discovered the arts. And those arts eventually brought me back to do this super wicked Mad Max inspired photo shoot in my Neverland.

I wanted to take advantage of my time in Alberta to do this photo-shoot that had been in my mind for a while. I was at an art show in downtown Calgary when I was introduced to this dashing looking fellow. I told my friend whom I was with, “He’s handsome. He looks like Jon Snow. I want to take him to the desert and shoot him.” Of course to anyone else that is entirely creepy and sounds like I’m about to murder this poor, ridiculously good looking man and dispose of the body. But to an art student that sounds like every other Tuesday. So the next weekend the three of us became our very own road warriors and began the road trip to Drumheller. Due to schedules, flights and commitments, we were only there for an hour, but in that hour we had managed to pack in a tourist/photoshoot extravaganza. Zack, the male model is from the east coast and had never been to the Badlands. We waited for the magical moment where the prairies and canola fields dropped off into the coulees. If you’ve never been there, you just don’t get it. You’re driving along, thinking you will never ever ever ever ever get to Drumheller. You begin thinking that it’s going to be a disappointing grass field with a giant dinosaur statue. Yawn. Then it happens.

It goes from this….

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To this.

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Enjoy. And remember: Just walk away.

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Five Four Oh My!

Tonight, I had the pleasure of being invited back to the National Guard Armory in Fredericksburg to do the Five 40 Roller girls group shot. It was hot out all day and as soon as we set out to do the group shot – thunderous, dark clouds rolled in behind us. It seems to be a running gag with mother nature that whenever I come out to shoot with the girls, it pours. It poured on both nights I did headshots. Rained all throughout the practice I shot. Dumped rain the night I shot their bout in Bealton. So finally, the one day where it’s bright, hot, blue skies, the weather turns just in time to make sure we don’t ruin our streak. Well, the girls were all amazing troopers and ignored it getting worse around them as we shot their group portraits.

Secretly as a photographer I had hoped this would happen. It happened on my wedding day where the weather went from bright and sunny to dark, snow and rain filled clouds. Instead of being mortified, I was overjoyed that the shots our photographer was able to get were dark and stormy like an HBO cover shoot. So in my mind I knew that the environment would now look as hard-core as these girls are. As if posing on Humvees and giant-not-tank-extended-vans wasn’t enough – these girls are fierce!

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